EPIC Computer Program

  1. Hi,
    Does anyone's hospital use the EPIC system for charting?
    Our hospital is going to this system this month, and I am really interested in how other nurses feel about it. For me, it is very difficult to learn, and I feel like I will be spending more time on the computer than with my patients.
    We keep hearing how much easier it will be, but right now, it doesn't seem easy at all.
    I am used to hard copies of charts, and the system we use now in the computer for charting allows for a busy night where I may not look at a computer until the end of my shift. And finding things in the EPIC system is very complicated for me.
    Anyone out there that can ease my anxiety?
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    About al7139

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 623; Likes: 541
    Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Emergency


  3. by   nurse2it
    The hospital where I work has used Epic for about 18 months. I really like it, no more signing your name over and over. Like anything else it's not perfect and some of the flowsheets are set up awkwardly but overall it's much better than paper charting. Supposedly in the future the docs will be putting their own orders in, I doubt that will ever happen. If you want more details, just pm me.
  4. by   NurseDawgJess
    We use it at my hospital and I love it. However, I came from home health a little over a year ago and was so burned out on paperwork, any computer charting program was welcomed by me with open arms. It seems overwhelming at first but eventually, you'll catch on and you'll do fine. Good luck with the transition.
  5. by   TRAMA1RN
    I worked in level 1 trauma center this summer in central Pa and we used EPIC and I loved it I learned it my first day on orientation, and after being there 1 month the MD's were entering all their orders themselves ! It was awesome, especially to think that every nurse in our system from initial triage to discharge from inpatient was using the same system. I am trying to get my new hospital to use it. Med reconcilliation was so simple no more having to write all the meds was fantastic.
  6. by   dcarriv
    We use it where I work and I hate it. It freezes up all of the time, the entire system will crash and be down for hours. I have also found it very difficult to use. I am on a rapid response team and I find it very difficult to work on patients who are going downhill when I cant access their allergies, medical histories, meds and procedures. They do have a backup system that is view only, but we have had that crash too. There is a computer hub where they can print up everyones chart, but if we have a full hospital that can be 270 pts. When it is working, it is nice that the doctors enter their own orders and progress notes. Unfortunatly the docs have found that it is very easy to click on the wrong orders, they also c/o it system being too slow. On our version of the program if you punch in ns you will get about 500 different orders and if its just a ns bolus that you want then you have to search for it. In my opinion and a number of our other nurses and mds agree that this program will kill someone.
  7. by   all4schwa
    I love it!
    I havent used any other computer charting systems, so I'm really just comparing it to paper charting. I love being able to access any patients chart from anywhere at anytime and by multiple people at the same time.
    For instance, I can look up the pt i'm getting while i'm getting report from the ER, catch up on charting while i'm waiting for transport to help me and my pt back to the floor, or pull up lab trends and xrays in the rooms to show family members. I love it!
  8. by   Advocate1
    EPIC is at my hospital too and I love it- the system does freeze up at time but nothing major.

    It is overwhelming at first- just like learning anything new & different.
    I've only used computer charting and I dont think I'd ever work at a hospital that used paper charting.
  9. by   TRAMA1RN

    I think your probs are that your IT dept hasn't provided enough memory and your servers may be to small. Where I work our system hasn't gone down for over six months and we ar one of 4 level 1 trauma centers in our state.
  10. by   Megsd
    I've used epic as a student nurse and now as a new grad and while i am still getting used to it, it has definite advantages. Yes it can be complicated to figure out where all your flowsheets are located, but you do have the ability to program your "favorite" flowsheets, which makes it easier to remember to fill them out. Also I do like that many of the flowsheets are linked, so if I document vitals in one place, it will appear on every applicable flowsheet where vitals are needed.
  11. by   deeDawntee
    What a question!! I use the EPIC system at 2 different facilities and while they are similar, different institutions can apparently adjust it somewhat to their needs. I think EPIC is popular because it is so massive and all encompassing that institutions see it as a system that will grow and change with their needs.

    That being said, (IMHO) the system is not user friendly. It takes practice to get proficient at it, more so than I think is really necessary. If the flowsheets were designed better, and the colors were used in a way to organize the flow, it could be a very good program. When finding orders, you can hunt through hundreds of options, not user friendly!!

    People who have some computer savvy, adjust quickly to the system and learn to cope with the things that don't make sense. Some of the older nurses I work with, still struggle with the system. It is really sad that some nurses with, in some cases 40+ years of experience, are disempowered because of a computer system....progress....I guess.

    Will patients die because of Epic? Wouldn't surprise me. I could tell a couple of hair-raising stories, but for patient confidentiality etc. won't at this point....just know that it IS a real possibility.

    All the docs where I work enter their own orders...one of the benefits!!
  12. by   TRAMA1RN
    EPIC be the cause of patients death? Don't be such an alarmist, explain to me how a computer program can cause death. If you are acting as a competant proficient nurse as we all are supposed to be, patient care is still hands on and you are always utilizing critical thinking skills.
  13. by   deeDawntee
    Quote from evilnightwitch
    EPIC be the cause of patients death? Don't be such an alarmist, explain to me how a computer program can cause death. If you are acting as a competant proficient nurse as we all are supposed to be, patient care is still hands on and you are always utilizing critical thinking skills.
    OOOOO, you know not what of you speak...the first day epic went up at my facility, it took over an hour to get blood from the blood bank for patients in the ICU and over an hour to get lab results...this could all feasibly result in patient's deaths... there is also an ongoing problem of direct admissions to the ICU being properly "pended in" so orders can be done. I will not give further details. These issues are all system issues and as much as we nurses have been up at arms, the system still has its problems. I have written the incident reports several times on system issues with EPIC. I know of one case, where care was seriously delayed because of EPIC and the patient did die. That patient may well have died anyway, but maybe not, we will never know.
  14. by   TRAMA1RN
    Still the problem is NOT with EPIC it is with your IT dept theyare responsible for getting and keeping the program running. GIGO Garbage in Garbage out!!!! Your IT department needs to be competant, in my experience most hospitals do not have competant IT departments. DO NOT blame the program, and if you do not have emergency overide policies in place before using any computerized charting then that is your administrations problem and shows serious lack of responsibility on their part. Again not a problem with EPIC. If you understand anything about computers at all you should know that they can only process the information put into them, computers really can not think on their own even in this 21st century. All facilities I have worked with that are using any computerized charting absolutely have made sure to have emergency backup procedures in place.